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May 11th, 2013
10:00 PM ET

My Take: ‘Gay Christian’ is not an oxymoron

Editor’s note: Justin Lee is the Executive Director of the Gay Christian Network and author of Torn: Rescuing the Gospel from the Gays-vs.-Christians Debate.

By Justin Lee, Special to CNN

(CNN)–In high school, I was a Christian know-it-all.

My nickname was "God boy," and I was known for regularly preaching at my friends about social issues of the day. I dismissed their objections - and accusations of homophobia - as intolerance for my faith.

"I'm just telling you what God's Word says," I'd argue.

Years later I realized my mistake. What my peers most objected to wasn't my beliefs - it was my condescending attitude. I debated and preached when I should have listened. I thought that stating my position loudly and unyieldingly was a sign of strength. In the process, I alienated my friends.

I'm still an evangelical Christian, but one thing is now crystal clear to me. American evangelicals' bad reputation isn't just because of what we believe. It's mostly because of how we behave.

When ESPN commentator Chris Broussard was criticized for saying that openly gay NBA player Jason Collins was “openly rebelling against God,” some evangelicals argued that conservative theological views are no longer tolerated in America.

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But they're missing the point.

Broussard's language didn't just express a religious view about sexual morality; it referred to gay people in ways that were dehumanizing, reducing all gay people's lives to a single sex act. Other outspoken Christians routinely say even worse things, comparing gay people to pedophiles, for example.

No one is immune from criticism in a free country with diverse beliefs. But if Christians feel particularly singled out at times, I'd argue that our perceived lack of empathy for others is largely to blame.

I can often test a Christian's level of empathy by offering a single admission: When I was 18, I realized that I'm gay.

Empathetic Christians are typically intrigued by such a statement, even if they also question how a conservative Southern Baptist could also be openly gay. They want to know about my struggles, how my family and church responded, and whether I ever feel my faith and sexuality are at odds with one another.

I love these questions, because they show that the other person genuinely sees me as a human being.

But far too often, Christians respond not with curiosity and questions but with politics and preaching.

They quote Bible passages at me, make assumptions about my faith, or tell me why they’re opposed to same-sex marriage.

I'm no longer a person to them; I'm a symbol of a culture war. A battlefield. And when I don't want to be treated that way, they assume I'm turning away because I didn't really want to hear the truth.

This kind of behavior is why so many of my LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) friends want nothing to do with the church.

But it's not only them.

In my book, "Torn: Rescuing the Gospel from the Gays-vs.-Christians Debate," I share the story of Cindy, a conservative evangelical mom whose life was thrown into turmoil when her son told her he was gay.

This wasn't a political question for Cindy; it was a personal one. But the dehumanizing rhetoric about gay people she heard from the pulpit made her afraid to talk to anyone at church about her son's sexuality.

Christians are not a monolithic group. I know many empathetic Christians, including many who speak up regularly for their LGBT brothers and sisters.

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

The loudest megaphones do not speak for the rest of us, but they are still loud, and legion. To them I say: Gay people are not an issue. We're people. Some of us are Christians, too. And if it disturbs you that I refer to myself as both gay and Christian, I invite you to take the time to get to know me, and read what I write. You don't have to agree, and you might think I’m a sinner, but at least you’ll see me as a human being.

Baptist minister and author Tony Campolo quips that Jesus entreated Christians not to "love the sinner and hate the sin," but to "love the sinner and hate your own sin."

Jesus saved his harshest words for the self-righteously devout and chose the outcasts and sinners as his closest friends.

Perhaps a lesson in Jesus-style humility might do us all some good.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Justin Lee.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Homosexuality • Opinion

soundoff (3,629 Responses)
  1. Observer

    lol??,

    Yes. TOTALLY STUMPED. Still NO ANSWER. Can't you even try?

    May 14, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
    • Franklin

      What's da question?

      May 14, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
    • lol??

      Stumpy, look at previous page. You really shouldn't be makin 'any laws.

      May 14, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
    • Observer

      Franklin,

      Here's the question AGAIN

      Do you agree 100% with God that marriage should be forced on people or do you HYPOCRITICALLY pick-and-choose what you follow from the Bible?

      May 14, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
    • Observer

      Franklin,

      See how lol?? REFUSES to answer the question about their belief in God?

      May 14, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
    • hal 9001

      Perhaps it would be more appropriate, "lol??" if you modified your moniker to be "STUMPED".

      May 14, 2013 at 2:35 pm |
    • lol??

      Stumpy, you don't even know the purpose of law. You use it to bully people.

      "Gal 3:24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster [to bring us] unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith."

      May 14, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
    • lol??

      "................America is choking on laws of our own making...................."

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/12/10/AR2010121007132.html

      May 14, 2013 at 2:42 pm |
    • sam

      lol??, aren't you late to your McJob? Don't forget your hair net.

      May 14, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
  2. Arnold

    Whatever happened to the scientist Rufus T Firefly? Does he still post here?

    May 14, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      I think he found Serenity.

      May 14, 2013 at 3:36 pm |
  3. Geoff

    Has anyone else noticed that Christianity has a chameleon like property that allows it to be whatever its proponent wants it to be? How can something with so little integrity have such an influence in this day and age?

    May 14, 2013 at 1:52 pm |
    • Jeff

      It's because so many peoples parents and grandparents bought a whole bunch of it's stock and handed it down like it was worth something. Now all these morons can do is stand there frozen holding their worthless certificates and wishing they had sold at the peak of the market.

      May 14, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
    • derp

      @Jeff. One of the most accurate descriptions I have ever read.

      May 14, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
    • Ted Jones the crusader not for khrist

      Our ignorant past haunts us

      May 14, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
    • Dippy

      Jeff, its...not it's.

      May 14, 2013 at 2:49 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Geoff,

      Woe to them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

      Isaiah 5:20

      Amen.

      May 15, 2013 at 6:21 pm |
  4. meifumado

    The onus of proof is with the believer.

    May 14, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Unfortunately you're really just citing an issue of judicial procedure and law, not something that helps us get at truths about reality.Sure, that's proper debate etiquette, but really so what?

      May 14, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      agreed.
      you say god exists?
      prove it.

      otherwise, by your same logic
      since you can't prove my left nut isn't God
      it must be
      so bow down and worship my left nut

      May 14, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
    • meifumado

      I don't believe it.
      And it can't be your left nut if it's my right nut.
      so come and get a sniff of your lord my right nut.

      May 14, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      meif,

      Believe whatever one wants. For, it makes no difference to God and Godly believers. They are of one faith torn apart by many differing types of faithfulness issues. Believers need to put down their books and lean towards a sense of willingness to ponder today's Life equations.

      Still, the kingdom domains of God are written to be located inside our bodies and yet do the majorities stay silent in this fact. It is also written that our bodies are Godly buildings in which the Godly do live in and they keep relative order inside our body/building.

      With so many inner space places to be filled by this earth's living numbers when they die, why should one look elsewhere for God's kingdom domains? This worldly family of all Life forms and formations are but One family. As One cell being our earliest beginning, evolution, the processes of mitigating a sense of cellular order to from beginning moments to ending finalities resulted in mankind's finalized ascension within this world's "Tree of Cellular Cosmologies".

      May 14, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
    • derp

      All hail my wrinkly righteous s c r o t u m!!!!

      May 14, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
  5. Observer

    ol??,

    Do you agree 100% with God that marriage should be forced on people or do you HYPOCRITICALLY pick-and-choose what you follow from the Bible?

    Still STUMPED?

    May 14, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      show me a single christian on all of earth that doesn't pick and choose from the bible.

      May 14, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
    • Observer

      Bootyfunk,

      Let's see if he/she claims they are the first.

      May 14, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
    • lol??

      Stumped?? Are you makin' fun of the disabled??

      "Mat 5:30 And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast [it] from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not [that] thy whole body should be cast into hell."

      May 14, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
    • lol??

      Plenty of wimen cut their heads off with divorce. You could do the same thing, Observer. Then you could be known as Stumpy.

      May 14, 2013 at 2:02 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      remember, if you're blind, lame, a midget, a hunchback or have crushed t.esticles, you are not welcome in the house of the lord.

      Leviticus 21:17-23
      “Speak to Aaron, saying, None of your offspring throughout their generations who has a blemish may approach to offer the bread of his God. For no one who has a blemish shall draw near, a man blind or lame, or one who has a mutilated face or a limb too long, or a man who has an injured foot or an injured hand, or a hunchback or a dwarf or a man with a defect in his sight or an itching disease or scabs or crushed testicles. No man of the offspring of Aaron the priest who has a blemish shall come near to offer the Lord's food offerings; since he has a blemish, he shall not come near to offer the bread of his God. ... "

      May 14, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
  6. Bootyfunk

    the bible very specifically says g.ays are to be put to death. Lev 20:13. it's always a bit amusing seeing people justify parts of the bible so they can be in a club that doesn't want them. christians these days do NOT follow the bible. if anyone actually followed the bible to the letter, they would be among the worst serial killer/mass murderers in all of history. the bible is a terrible guide for good living. the bible supports slavery, tells you how to sell your own daughter into slavery. in order to be a good person, you have to ignore passages in the holy rule book.

    May 14, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
    • Ralph

      Muslims are better Christians than today's Christians.

      May 14, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
  7. lol??

    I really don't mean any disrespect to the dawgs on the blog. It's just truth if ya can handle it.

    "Psa 22:16 For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet."

    Yeah, I know, ya memorized the 23 Psalm but forgot to read the 22.

    May 14, 2013 at 1:25 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      a better use for those pages is lining the bottom of a bird cage.

      May 14, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
  8. HeavenSent

    The Holy Bible, which is the word of the Lord (God), is 100% accurate in every aspect. Studies have proven that Christians have higher IQ's then the children of satan. My camel-toe denies ever seeing the letter from PJ. Start your walk with Jesus and enjoy him for eternity.

    Amen.

    May 14, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      gibberish

      May 14, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
    • Alias

      So is it safe to think you don't wear clothes with mixed fabrics?
      Or eat anything fromthe sea without scales?

      May 14, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      HeavenSent must also kill all non-virgin brides, disobedient children, anyone working the weekend and all non-believers, as commanded in the bible.

      so, HeavenSent, how many people have you killed today, as Yahweh commands? please tell us how, as a good christian, you are putting people to death in the name of your "loving and compassionate" god?

      May 14, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
    • meifumado

      Your camel-toe?

      Pics please!

      May 14, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
    • Observer

      HeavenSent,

      100% accurate. You're kidding.

      So you think the ratio pi is equal to 3.0?

      May 14, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
    • derp

      Uh, I think this is probably not the "real" HS.

      May 14, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Phony heavensent without missing a beat steals my handle to write her babble today.

      May 14, 2013 at 8:48 pm |
  9. lionlylamb

    Many societal humanisms tenderly give to the fragmentations of "qweeried" fundamentalists and their animalisms sensualities. As the W h o r e d o m of mankind begins to swell up, many transgressors of animalistic 'qweeries' will reap no seeded harvests. Only thru socialistic recruitment strategies can 'qweery' enlistments keep their herds in brazen numbeusrs. And the w h o r I n g crowds dare cry aloud, "Father, why have you forsaken us"?

    May 14, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      r a n d o m

      May 14, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
    • Alias

      They have always been here. It just took the society a while to improve its morals to the point where they didn't have ot hide anymore.

      May 14, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Do you understand what communication is for?
      Do you know what effective communication is?

      May 14, 2013 at 1:23 pm |
    • Alias

      Heck yeah!
      Be more like Richard and stop ending your sentences in prepositions!

      May 14, 2013 at 1:26 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      And w h o r I n g sentiments dare abound! The W h o r e d o m roads are jagged like chards of broken glass, cutting and grinding all who resent the w h o r I s h n e s s clans! Cleanliness of one's egoism can only come about thru washing one's perceptivities with the soaps of high mindedness and the drying off with towels of morality's retributions.

      May 14, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Many of my sentences end in propositions too. The point is for communication to be effective, there must be a common language. LL likes to create incoherent word salads, which lose all meaning in whatever translation matrix it is using.
      LL then posts this nonsense all day...it gets tiresome.

      May 14, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
    • lionlylamb loves tossing wordsalads...

      With syrup!

      May 14, 2013 at 1:52 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Richard Cranium,

      As the world does turn seemingly slowly, the person's intellectual recognitions are slow to be formulated. What once was viewed is now viewed differently and will so become changed in time's futures until a finalized rationalism is made wholesome to one's ego, the psychic reservoir of emotional spiritualism, the spirits of recognizable perceptivities.

      May 14, 2013 at 2:40 pm |
  10. William Demuth

    I am curious.

    Do we have ANY Christians left who claim the Bible is 100 percent absolute?

    It seems about 30 years ago most of the groups starting distancing themselves from certain verses.

    I knew back then it was the beginning of the end for the cult.

    Either the book is or is not divine. I believe it is not, and is irrelevant to modern discourse

    If you believe it IS divine, then how might one rationalize accepting only the truths that fit ones personal bias, and rejecting the others.

    You can't have it both ways.

    Is the Bible divine, or is it nonsense written by men to influence other men?

    May 14, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
    • Spiffy Duck

      Based on actions and behaviors over the centuries, there have always been major parts of the Bible that Christians turned a big blind eye to. Disturbingly, it is often the parts insisting on good behavior while Christians involve themselves in wars, torture, oppression, etc in the name of religion.

      Go though a history book and ask yourself if things like the Inquisition fit "do unto others" and vengeance is mine" and all that. It's not just the Deuteronomy psychosis they ignore; it's the things you would want then to do, the basic decency stuff.

      Would they have others deny them the right to marry as they do unto others?

      May 14, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
    • Lycidas

      "Is the Bible divine, or is it nonsense written by men to influence other men?"

      That is quite an ignorant and closed minded view on the text. Nothing is so clean cut.

      But I will tell you what....prove that men wrote the "Bible" to influence other men. Of course I will guess that you are implying an influence that is in your views negative. To be more specific you could tell us who these "men" specifically were and what their specific goals were. You seem to imply that you know a great deal about them.

      May 14, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @Spiffy Duck- you seem to have a problem with a certain percentage of the followers of the faith than the faith itself.

      May 14, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
    • Alias

      If you start with the conclusion that the bible is the word of god, then the obvious cunclusion will be that there are parts that we just don't understand.
      I get this a lot from christards.
      Chad, Heaven sent, live4him, .......

      May 14, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
    • Lycidas

      "If you start with the conclusion that the bible is the word of god, then the obvious cunclusion will be that there are parts that we just don't understand"

      Lol..I kind of go with that but not for the same reasons. There are parts of the Bible that probably wont ever be clear to us and that's because the Bible (def the letters of Paul) were written to a specific group of people at a specific time period and specific issues. The authors of the books within the Bible were not writing to Joe Public in North America in the year 2013AD.

      May 14, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      "But I will tell you what....prove that men wrote the "Bible" to influence other men. Of course I will guess that you are implying an influence that is in your views negative. To be more specific you could tell us who these "men" specifically were and what their specific goals were. You seem to imply that you know a great deal about them."

      do you have proof as to why the bible was written? you're asking for something you know doesn't exist. just like you can't prove the bible was written with the intent to help people. please show any "proof" as to why the bible was written.

      May 14, 2013 at 1:23 pm |
    • Spiffy Duck

      If the Word of God cannot make the followers of God act any more decently than nonbelievers (who studies consistently show commit less crime and are more prosperous), then the Word of God is totally ineffective and useless.

      May 14, 2013 at 1:25 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Willie guy Demuth,

      God does not need any book or books to be God who was of the beginning and will be around come anyone's end.

      May 14, 2013 at 1:26 pm |
    • Frederico

      Why would a god write a book to humans that included parts he knew they wouldn't understand? That is senseless beyond words. Indeed, why couldn't a god clearly write what he wanted people to do, instead of having a book that is half filled with things you supposedly do not have to do anymore (which are so horrible they never should have been done).

      And why would any god be so shallow and self-obsessed that the only thing that keeps you out of heaven is not how well you behave in life but your total sycophant obedience?

      May 14, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
    • BRC

      I have issues with the concept that the Bible must be put in historical context to be understood. If the Bible is the word of "God", derived from "God", and "God's" truths are absolute, then they should be as true now as they were when they were first passed down. IF that is not the case, then the book seems more likely to be the work of men. IT has some good parts, and some messages that hold up over time, btu the rest should be considerd completely negotiable.

      May 14, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      or even better for an omnipotent god - just allow 2 way communication.

      human: "God, I have a question about one of your rules. I'm asking because I don't want to break it. I don't want any confusion."
      god: "What is your question, my child?"

      see how easy that would be for a god that actually existed and cared? and prayer, otherwise known as talking to yourself, doesn't count.

      May 14, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
    • Spiffy Duck

      The authors of the books within the Bible were not writing to Joe Public in North America in the year 2013AD?

      God was not communicating to all people? He could not inspire humans to write something that people of all generations could understand and relate to? Your god isn't very effective.

      May 14, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      @Spiffy Duck
      prove it? you asked for proof on the intentions of the authors from someone else - now you say you know the intentions of the authors - prove it. you asked for proof - how about you provide some?

      May 14, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      sorry, Spiffy Duck
      that was for Lycidas

      May 14, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
    • JMEF

      William Demuth
      A good example is the RCC dumping the original second commandment, the idol thingy of any other god and anything in heaven. Then some smart Cardinal got the idea that the church could make a good buck selling a sweet zombie jew on a stick to the sheepies but that second commandment had to go out on its asz, it did.

      May 14, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
    • DavidTX

      " Nothing is so clean cut."

      Looked pretty clean cut to me. Is the bible divine or not? There should not be more than one answer to that question. If it is yes then we can be confident that any research and science we do will merely confirm what the divine being has already told us. If it's no that doesn't mean divine beings don't exist, just that they had nothing to do with this book and we can study it like we do ancient greek and egyptian myths and creation stories that were intermingled with history as the people writing them down were giving permanancy to our previously oral histories. Passed from one tribal priest, shaman or medicine man to the next until they found a more permanant method of transfering those legends. Even the 40,000 year old cave paintings may have had some message codded in the numbers of deer or directions of spear throws telling the next generations which way the herds would be moving come winter.

      The only thing that is clear cut is that either the bible got a lot wrong and is far from divine or "magic" was used to change all the evidence.

      No Adam.
      No global flood.
      No stopping the sun in it's place for a day
      No talking donkeys
      No virgin birth
      No man lived in the belly of a whale for 3 days
      No pillar of salt woman
      Not divinely inspired.

      May 14, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
    • Alias

      Let's not forget that the RCC spent a long time refusing to allow anyone to translate the bible into any modern language. Do we all know why the King James version has its name?

      May 14, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
    • Lycidas

      Bootyfunk- "do you have proof as to why the bible was written? you're asking for something you know doesn't exist. just like you can't prove the bible was written with the intent to help people. please show any "proof" as to why the bible was written."

      If it doesn't exist, then why did the Demuth say, "Is the Bible divine, or is it nonsense written by men to influence other men?"

      Booty..I did not make a claim as to knowing why the text was written. Personally, I would guess the reasons are quite numerous since the "Bible" is not a singular ent ity but a collection of different books written by different people. Some did it to pass on the laws. Some did it for historical reasons and some others were passing on literature and spiritual guidance.

      May 14, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @Spiffy Duck- "then the Word of God is totally ineffective and useless."

      Some would compare the texts to that of a tool like a hammer. If the user is holding the hammer by the head instead of the handle...is it ineffective and useless because of itself or because of the one that is using it?

      May 14, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
    • Ted Jones the crusader not for khrist

      "Booty..I did not make a claim as to knowing why the text was written. Personally, I would guess the reasons are quite numerous since the "Bible" is not a singular ent ity but a collection of different books written by different people"
      ....
      Yes we can agree it was written by men. There is no direct evidence it was written by the hand of a god. Were they inspired? Obviously. Artists are inspired to paint picures of gods but it give zero credibility to the existence of the god.

      May 14, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
    • Ted Jones the crusader not for khrist

      Self help books can be used like a hammer. The story of Santa can be an inspiration for a child.

      May 14, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Of course the bible can be used for certain purposes, just not as a reliable measure of truth. You can't trust a book on issues that can't be tested if the claims you can test are wrong. If the bible was wrong about creation, Adam, bats being birds and all sorts of other failures, then how can you trust its claims about heaven and hell and the supernatural.

      No Adam.
      No global flood.
      No stopping the sun in it's place for a day
      No talking donkeys
      No virgin birth
      No man lived in the belly of a whale for 3 days
      No pillar of salt woman
      Not divinely inspired.

      May 14, 2013 at 2:21 pm |
    • Lycidas

      Spiffy Duck- "Your god isn't very effective."

      Didn't know I had a god. Curious, is being effective from your subjective pov a requirement for a divine being?

      Bootyfunk- "now you say you know the intentions of the authors – prove it. you asked for proof – how about you provide some?"

      I've never said I knew the intentions of the authors. I have yet to make a positive claim of knowing what any author's intentions were. I have gave possible guesses but made it clear that they were simply that....guesses.

      May 14, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
    • Ted Jones the crusader not for khrist

      Is there wisdom in the bible? Of course. Problem with the Christards is they can't seperate reality from bs.

      May 14, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
    • Lycidas

      DavidTX- "Looked pretty clean cut to me. Is the bible divine or not?"

      You still go into the absolutes but to the Bible is not divine. It is an instrument of the divine.

      "If it is yes then we can be confident that any research and science we do will merely confirm what the divine being has already told us."

      There has been very little that makes me think that science and spirituality could ever mesh and work together.

      "If it's no that doesn't mean divine beings don't exist, just that they had nothing to do with this book.."

      At least you don't go the step further that some do and imply that God doesn't exist because the Bible isn't 100% accurate. But there is no reason to say that the divine did not have something to do with the creation of some or all of the texts. Mankind can screw up anything given to them...whether it is divine or mundane.

      May 14, 2013 at 2:27 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @Ted Jones the crusader not for khrist- "There is no direct evidence it was written by the hand of a god."

      Don't think anyone has said it was on here today have they?

      "Were they inspired? Obviously. Artists are inspired to paint picures of gods but it give zero credibility to the existence of the god."

      Of course though, the product of their inspiration was not claimed to have been done from life now was it? Now if you ever can point out where Pheidias said that Athena sat for him..I would like to see it.

      "Self help books can be used like a hammer. The story of Santa can be an inspiration for a child."

      I don't think comparing a centuries old collection of books covering topics from law, history, philosophy, literature and spirituality with that of children's literature and books by a a singular PHD is exactly correct or wise.
      Perhaps comparing it to the Consti tution, Bill or Rights and the past few centuries of written law here in the US. Those inspire people as well but then it wouldn't serve your left handed attempt at belittling the texts we are discussing.

      May 14, 2013 at 2:35 pm |
    • Ted Jones the crusader not for khrist

      "But there is no reason to say that the divine did not have something to do with the creation of some or all of the texts. "
      .
      Equally is there is no reason to say that advanced aliens didnt not have something to do with the creation of some or all the texts. In fact it is more realistic to think aliens were part of the process.

      May 14, 2013 at 2:35 pm |
    • DavidTX

      "Mankind can screw up anything given to them...whether it is divine or mundane."

      So I take it we are supposed to read the bible and try to wade through the human screwed up parts and seek out the divine parts, like looking for a lost ring in a Port-A-Potty. That seems like a terribly inefficient way for a divine being to communicate with us. If he wanted us to have the ring, why throw it in all that shlt?

      May 14, 2013 at 2:40 pm |
    • Lycidas

      Ted Jones the crusader not for khrist- "Equally is there is no reason to say that advanced aliens didnt not have something to do with the creation of some or all the texts. In fact it is more realistic to think aliens were part of the process."

      If you think that...you just go with it then.

      May 14, 2013 at 3:06 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @DavidTX- your really cannot carry on a conversation without trying to belittle what you see was the opposing viewpoint can you? How sad.

      May 14, 2013 at 3:08 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      And you're pretty fvcking snarky yourself, lyc.

      May 14, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @Cpt. Obvious and whatever other usernames you are using- I just reflect the behavior that others put forth. I suggest you accept that or go screw yourself.
      When people bring up relevant, mature and interesting topics...I in turn converse that way. When little intellectual pi ss ants like you come on here cursing and such and not saying much at all...I have no reason not to converse with you in any way but what you must be used to.

      May 14, 2013 at 3:27 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Thank you, lyc. You performed past my expectation. I now judge you far, far beneath me.

      May 14, 2013 at 3:29 pm |
    • Lycidas

      The judgements of little children, fools and the pompous rarely concern me. You are welcome to your opinions. No doubt they bring you much joy.

      May 14, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
  11. Abraham

    "American evangelicals' bad reputation isn't just because of what we believe." To be fair, it's partly because of what you believe.

    May 14, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
    • Larry of Nazareth

      When even an evangelical recognizes evangelicals are obnoxious and filled with putrescent ideas, well, that says a lot!

      May 14, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
  12. Observer

    lol??,

    Do you agree 100% with God that marriage should be forced on people or do you HYPOCRITICALLY pick-and-choose what you follow from the Bible?

    May 14, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      You are asking a question of someone who is only capable of incoherent babble...this should be good.

      May 14, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
    • Larry of Nazareth

      You actually want to have a conversation with the resident rabid whack-job?

      May 14, 2013 at 12:49 pm |
    • Observer

      "He's barking mad".

      - Penn Gillette, on the Celebrity Apprentice

      May 14, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
    • lol??

      Observer dawg,
      Is God runnin' the wurld with LAW or His Spirit?? You prefer doggie law and death, anyway. Enjoy havin' it your way.

      May 14, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
    • lol??

      Still . . . can't . . . seem . . . to . . . make . . . sense . . .

      May 14, 2013 at 1:13 pm |
  13. Honey Badger Don't Care!

    KiII Hom.ose.xuals
    "If a man lies with a male as with a women, both of them shall be put to death for their abominable deed; they have forfeited their lives." (Leviticus 20:13 NAB)

    Sounds pretty clear to me. I want to ask Mr. Lee how many gays has he kiIIed for his god?

    May 14, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
    • Hmmmm

      No, see, they already got their quota and would have to buy more toe tags to bag some more. I think it says somewhere in Revelation 7: " 3 “Do not harm the land or the sea or the trees until we put a seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God.” 4 Then I heard the number of those who were sealed: 144,000 from all the tribes of Israel."

      Seal = skeet

      May 14, 2013 at 1:51 pm |
  14. Faith

    What"s an oxymoron?

    May 14, 2013 at 12:34 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Billy Mays and Anthony Sullivan

      May 14, 2013 at 12:36 pm |
    • The Brady Bunch Chainsaw Massacre

      What's a dictionary?

      What's a lazy slob who is so lazy that he must ask others to do the simplest things for him?

      May 14, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
    • Which God?

      Look it up, moron.

      May 14, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
    • Jim

      Golf clap for Richard Cranium 🙂

      May 14, 2013 at 2:49 pm |
  15. Franklin

    Religion CAN serve a purpose to life.

    I was taking a part time psychology class. One of the chapters was on stress and the author who wrote the book stated that individuals going through a traumatic event can take solace in their religion. It can have a positive outcome.

    May 14, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      One's general outlook help just as much. I have no religions, yet I have worked through many hardships.

      Keep on smilin' through the pain, laughin' at the rain. (Wet Willy)
      Religion is just a crutch, which can be useful, but in this case the crutch is not needed, as there are many ways through struggle and hardship.

      May 14, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
    • The Brady Bunch Chainsaw Massacre

      It works the same way denial does. Not the healthiest approach by a long shot, but for people who are struggling with reality, an illusion of a magical being helping you can be comforting.

      It works with any god or supernatural entity. If you believe in leprechauns and that leprechauns can help you through difficult times, you get the same result.

      May 14, 2013 at 12:36 pm |
    • lol??

      TTouchy FFeeely is how science looks at it?? That'll work.

      May 14, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
    • Franklin

      Maybe not the healthiest but according to the doctor who wrote the text, it was a healthy option.

      May 14, 2013 at 12:42 pm |
    • Which God?

      @ Franklin. And you believe it because it was written in a book? How about comic books, does that count as well? Believe not all you read.

      May 14, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
    • Franklin

      Why do you all come off so mean?

      May 14, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
    • The Brady Bunch Chainsaw Massacre

      You only interpret as mean because that fits your scapegoat straw man illusion of us. If you actually read what we wrote, you simply got facts. You chose to misinterpret them as mean, but that is your bile, not ours.

      May 14, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      All? I'm pretty sure nothing I said was mean, though I do mean what I say.

      May 14, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
    • Franklin

      You’re getting off topic there, which God.

      May 14, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
    • Franklin

      You don’t have to belittle religion just because you’re atheist and find religion silly. I find dolls silly but I don’t belittle it to everyone who has one, including adults.

      May 14, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
    • The Brady Bunch Chainsaw Massacre

      Franklin, why would you take someone else to task for getting off-topic when you earlier went off-topic about your rather bigoted misinterpretations of those who have other opinions as "mean"?

      May 14, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
    • Franklin

      You’re right Richard. Your post didn’t come across that way.

      May 14, 2013 at 12:52 pm |
    • The Brady Bunch Chainsaw Massacre

      You belittle people who don't agree with you as "mean", then claim you don't belittle people as you claim that simple statements of fact about the efficacy of religion are belittlement?

      Are you aware of your hypocrisy and your persecution complex?

      May 14, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
    • Barbie

      Franklin

      "You don’t have to belittle religion just because you’re atheist and find religion silly. I find dolls silly but I don’t belittle it to everyone who has one, including adults."

      If the doll folks were trying to run the government, make laws and public policies, retard science, influence public education and people's marital status according to doll doctrines, fantasies and supersti'tions, I'll just bet you would have a thing or two to say about it...

      May 14, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
    • Which God?

      Not off topic, Franklin. You said you read it in a book. I said don't believe all you read. clear enoung? As for being mean, go play with your dolls. Are they blow up?

      May 14, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Richard, I'd be wary of assuming we are all the same. The fact that you or I can work though certain problems without religion doesn't mean everyone can, anymore than the fact I can survive a certain virus without antiviral meds means another person could. People are quite variable.

      May 14, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
    • Wondering

      I wonder why Franklin does make the same comments to the very-abusive lol?? and HeavenSent?

      Oh, it's because they are "Christians".

      May 14, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
    • Franklin

      I didn’t mean to come across as bigoted or to belittle ya’ll. If you have religious friends, I doubt you would say they believe in a magical being to their face and expect them to take it as a complement to their faith. That is what I was getting at.

      Not every religious individual is trying to run the government, make laws, etc.

      May 14, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
    • Franklin

      I thought LOL was one of the atheists. I only joined this blog a few minutes ago.

      May 14, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
    • The Brady Bunch Chainsaw Massacre

      If you had atheist friends, would you call them mean to their face?

      You spend a lot of time feeling victimized when in fact you are doing the belittling. A long honest look in the mirror would do you a world of good.

      May 14, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
    • Barbie

      Franklin,

      Even Thomas Jefferson said that: “Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. Ideas must be distinct before reason can act upon them; and no man ever had a distinct idea of the trinity. It is the mere Abracadabra of the mountebanks calling themselves the priests of Jesus.”

      May 14, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Saraswati
      Valid point...but people claim that it is the religion that helps, when in fact it is only certain aspects of religion that can be helpful, the same aspects of psychology, the same aspects of meditation, etc...That was really the point...You can't just point to religion itself, rather what portion of it, and often the "good" parts are found in many other coping techniques. I don't really see any one aspect of religion that is helpful that one cannot find elsewhere.

      May 14, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Franklin

      You said, "Religion CAN serve a purpose to life."
      Yes, it can, and does.

      It helps puts mind at ease about difficult questions for which there may not be any easy answers. That doesn't mean that the "answers" it provides are rooted in reality. It's in that regard the same as a five year old's imaginary friend that keeps the monsters from coming to get it.

      Religion also keeps the flock of sheeple under control. It has been shown to be a very powerful method to keep the common folk from rising up and overthrowing those that "interpret" the edict from their gods. It provides great power and wealth for those in control. Just look at the enormous wealth accumulated by the RCC and mega churches in the US.

      May 14, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
    • Franklin

      I meant that I interpreted your comments as mean. I’m sure you all are good taxpaying people but I don’t think some of ya’ll presented yourselves well when I brought up one point in favor of religion and one reply back comparing a holy book to a comic book. That is the point I was trying to make.

      With that being said, I think we all should bury the hatchet? What do you all say?

      May 14, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      There are numerous ways to find solace without turning to religion. Meditation has been proven to work.

      May 14, 2013 at 1:40 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Richard, I've tried to find good data on this topic before without much luck. I agree that some aspects of religion have comparable parts, such as prayer having roughly the same benefit as meditation. However I don't rule out the possibility that some people may only be at their happiest believing they will live eternally, which I don't see an equivalent for elsewhere. Or some people may need very simple rules and morals because they just aren't cognitively equipped for ambiguity or complexity.

      On the flip side some people seem not to appreciate their current lives because of a belief in eternal life which may never come, hence depriving them of appreciation of thei current life. And yet I would think it quite reasonable for someone with a wretched life, such as the women locked in Ariel Castro's house or better, those sick with no hope of recovery, to recognize they have no current positives and benefit from a dream of an eternity in which they are happy (and Ariel Castro rotting in hell). I volunteer with people with Alzheimer's and I'll tell you that in some situations asking people to see reality is highly overrated.

      May 14, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Saraswati
      I have asked similar questions as well.
      To me, I already have eternal life, just not in this form. The law of conservation of energy says that all of the energies that make me me are going to continue on long after my current form, and they have come from the universe. By the same token, I am billions of years old, as every element in my body is millions of years old, and will get recycled into the universe as it always has. A very simple and elegant system. It is only in my current form that I have a form of sentience...a sort of focal point for life energy. In that way, I look at it as we are the universe trying to figure itself out, I am like a drop in the ocean... a part of something greater, in this case the universe...I just don't see any sign that the universe has any sentience inherent and in totum, so I hold a fraction of the intelligence that the universe contains, as does all life. No higher power, all the same power, an energy we have not defined and only barely understand.

      This is of course only an opinion...I do know all religions are man made, though the feeling of being a part of something greater does seem to be a common theme.

      I know I may get lambasted here but it is what I BELIEVE and in that it is indisputable...I at no time claim to be right, I just think I am closer than religion can get. Religion gets in the way.

      May 14, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Richard, I have no issues with the system you propose logically, but I'm not sure I'd call it entirely unreligious., at least as regards questions of consciousness. But that would get really into the old questions of whether Modern Spinozans or philosophical Hinduism are religious, all of which are generally considered fairly consistent with modern science.

      May 14, 2013 at 3:13 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Saraswati
      Since my conception changes as I gain more knowledge through scientific study, it does not have the rigid confines of religion...it also is not spirituality as that implies a spirit, which implies a sentience. Moreover, it is an observational study of yet undefined energies, so I prefer to not label it.

      I see religions can be mans interpretation of that energy, but in a way similar to seeing the patterns on a wall when you shine a light through a diamond. What you see changes dependent on the observer, and the facet through which the light shines. The problem comes when one man tells another that what he sees is truth and then the next man has to try to understand THAT mans understanding, rather than look for himself.

      May 14, 2013 at 3:21 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Richard, Do you believe that the universe beyond the individual has any sentience or that your consciousness will either continue, in any form, or have any future existence? If not I would probably agree it isn't religious, but I also don't see it as getting at the kinds of issues the previously mention religious folk are trying to get at.

      I agree theat the trick is for a belief to adapt with science, and some beliefs do better than others. But a religion certainly could have this ability, as do many Versions of Buddhist or Hindu thought.

      May 14, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Saraswati
      Every definition of religion I have ever seen requires either a belief in the supernatural or a god. Nothing I believe fits that definition, so again...I prefer it not have that label...there is no such thing as supernatural...if it exists , it is natural.

      May 14, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      To further answer your question...

      The consciousness as we understand it ends when we end, the energy continues on ( again, law of conservation of energy). The focal point of that energy is no longer there...like a fire that burns, once the fuel is gone, the fire goes out, but the energy has dissipated to the surrounding area. Without the focal point, the nature of the energy changes, but remains.

      The same energy is how knowledge is transferred to us through our genes...we are born with the inherent knowledge of how to use our bodies, to breathe, we all laugh the same way, regardless of language. If knowledge can be transferred chemically as we already see, then why did god not give a clear definition for us all in our DNA, it must be possible.

      If some of that knowledge remains, we have no way of knowing, but I do not think it is possible without the chemical focal point, similar to the impossibility of fire without fuel, or electricity without matter.

      May 14, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Richard, Got it. I'd agree probably not religion, but not really helpful probably either to those who want eternal life.

      May 14, 2013 at 4:47 pm |
  16. Vic

    In reference to:

    https://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/05/11/my-take-gay-christian-is-not-an-oxymoron/comment-page-17/#comment-2340253

    @T P
    "What would you do if your child or relative came to you and stated they were gay/lesbian? How would you handle it?"

    I would tell him/her:

    It is up to you, that is your choice! Just DON'T throw it on others!

    &

    https://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/05/11/my-take-gay-christian-is-not-an-oxymoron/comment-page-12/#comment-2339158

    &

    I believe every living soul is from the Breath of God and Endowed With Unalienable Rights. I am NOT to judge nor condemn anyone!

    May 14, 2013 at 12:29 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      So you would lie to your child...typical christian.

      May 14, 2013 at 12:32 pm |
    • The Brady Bunch Chainsaw Massacre

      And yet you throw your religion on others. Hypocrisy, thy name is Vic.

      May 14, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      Vic: After all the evidence put to you, you act like it is a choice or a lifestyle. It's simply not either of those. Your use of 'throw it onto others' is wrong given that a gay person can't influence another persons sexuality. If you were left on a remote island with yourself and another male who happened to be gay, do you think he could change your sexuality?
      Why do you care so much that two people who are in love and desire the same things you do in life, choose to get married? Does it harm your life somehow? Does it harm your family or friends? Do these people not pay taxes, raise children, shop at the same stores you do?? So why?? Set aside your bible for a minute and think about it.

      May 14, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
    • Vic

      The answer to the first question is NO.

      Regarding the rest, to me, it is absolutely NOT a religious issue at all, it is a NATURAL issue!

      May 14, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      Yes Vic being gay is natural, there is nothing to say it isn't.

      May 14, 2013 at 1:26 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Vic
      You said you would tell your child that is their choice, which is a lie.

      You clearly need to learn more about the natural human condition called h0m0$exuality

      May 14, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
    • TC

      Except, of coruse that's it's not a choice. Do you really think your 12-14 year old has the ability to completelselect/change their innate orientation? Geesh.

      May 14, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
    • Vic

      Actually, being STRAIGHT is NATURAL! We are NATURALLY wired to be attracted to the opposite s e x!

      https://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/05/11/my-take-gay-christian-is-not-an-oxymoron/comment-page-17/#comment-2340253

      May 14, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      Vic: Maybe if you read a different side of this you'll see how wrong your stance on gays is.

      "First, let’s define “natural.” Here’s what Merriam-Webster has to say:
      “being in accordance with or determined by nature”
      “having a specified character by nature”
      “occurring in conformity with the ordinary course of nature : not marvelous or supernatural”
      “existing in or produced by nature : not artificial”

      For something to be “unnatural,” then, it would have to be the opposite of these things.

      And now here are some facts about homosexuality:

      Same-sex attraction exists among humans all over the world.
      Although there’s no such thing as the “Gay Gene,” plenty of research has suggested that ties do exist between genetics and sexual orientation.
      While some research has shown that one’s environment can influence their sexual orientation–for instance, a study showed that gay men report less positive interactions with their fathers than straight men–such factors aren’t exactly up to the individual to choose. (Also, one can’t really determine causation in cases like that.)
      In general, psychological authorities agree that homosexuality is caused by an interaction of countless factors, usually develops in early childhood, and is not a choice.
      There is no evidence that sexual orientation can be forcibly changed through “conversion therapy” or any other methods. (However, one’s orientation may be fluid and can sometimes change on its own over time, just like other types of sexual preference.)
      Even animals can be gay! Homosexual behavior has been documented in tons of different animal species, such as penguins, pigeons, vultures, elephants, giraffes, dolphins, lizards, sheep, and, curiously, fruit flies and bedbugs. Bonobos, meanwhile, are almost entirely bisexual."
      http://brutereason.net/2012/01/12/is-homosexuality-unnatural/

      May 14, 2013 at 2:01 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Vic
      Reality shows that sometimes a female brain can be in a female body, and vice versa...so you are correct that we are hard wired, sometimes the wiring is for female brain to male body and male body to female brain. Hormones have a huge effect on the body, so this configuration as you say IS NATURAL. There is no choice involved, the body will react without thought.

      May 14, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
  17. palintwit

    All tea party patriots can be rounded up, loaded into box cars and sent to the deep south where they will be interned in special camps.

    May 14, 2013 at 12:28 pm |
    • Jim

      If they want to "Take America Back" as they so often say, how about they offer themselves up as the first new slave generation revival. Go ahead Tea Baggers, just let anyone you see know you are avaliable for pick-up anytime, and don't worry, we will abide by the bibles laws when it comes to your treatment, so don't forget to read Leviticus before handing yourself over.

      May 14, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
  18. faith

    Demons,
    ahh, 2 b tortured among the christians

    (some r pretty good preachers)

    hey tom tom little nazi, have fun at work 2day, bro

    u 2 doro

    May 14, 2013 at 12:18 pm |
    • Well

      Christians are consistently the most illiterate posters here. I cannot think of another group that has such difficulty spelling, capitalizing, using proper grammar, debating honestly, or getting out a coherent thought.

      May 14, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
    • Dippy

      I've noticed that too. You can always tell a religious person by their grade-school-level writing ability. You can recognize them without even considering the context of their post.

      May 14, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
    • G to the T

      G's general guide to online debates – the first person to use the word "nazi" is always the loser.

      May 17, 2013 at 9:53 am |
  19. To Justin Lee

    Justin Lee, It is not about what a Christian would have us do, it is about seeking what God would have us do about the choices we make in life.

    With that said, here are some questions for you,
    1) What is it about Christ that moved you most?
    2) What is it about being a Christian that is most challenging?

    May 14, 2013 at 11:57 am |
    • lol??

      You are addressing an "Executive". Better show sum respect. HHHHhooooooooooooooowwwwlllll

      May 14, 2013 at 12:12 pm |
    • Answer to question # 2

      “Prayer will make a man cease from sin, or sin will entice a man to cease from prayer.”
      ― John Bunyan

      May 14, 2013 at 12:18 pm |
    • Answer to Question # 1

      He is Immanuel

      May 14, 2013 at 12:24 pm |
    • Bert Russell

      Christ never existed. He's a folk tale character.

      May 14, 2013 at 12:28 pm |
  20. Observer

    Marriage is strictly a LEGAL matter with optional religious involvement.

    May 14, 2013 at 11:41 am |
    • lol??

      When you have the lawless makin' laws the culture is in deep doggie doo doo. Woof woof

      May 14, 2013 at 11:54 am |
    • Observer

      It's not the lawless that make nearly half of all marriages fail. Get real.

      May 14, 2013 at 11:59 am |
    • lol??

      God declared His authority over marriage before the pharisees took over, dawg. You think He was holding His breath til you finally got it right and righteous from the mob dog pack?? EEEEeewwwwwww HHHHhhhooooooooooolllllllwww woof woof

      May 14, 2013 at 12:09 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      lol??: As always your lack of intelligence shines through...read on and learn something relevant and true for a change...

      Evangelical Christian research institute, the Barna Group did a study on this, in the year 2000:

      "Barna's results verified findings of earlier polls: that conservative Protestant Christians, on average, have the highest divorce rate, while mainline Christians have a much lower rate. They found some new information as well: that atheists and agnostics have the lowest divorce rate of all. George Barna commented that the results raise "questions regarding the effectiveness of how churches minister to families." The data challenge "the idea that churches provide truly practical and life-changing support for marriage." [...]

      The data showed that the highest divorce rates were found in the Bible Belt.* "Tennessee, Arkansas, Alabama and Oklahoma round out the Top Five in frequency of divorce...the divorce rates in these conservative states are roughly 50 percent above the national average" of 4.2/1000 people."

      Denomination (in order of decreasing divorce rate)

      Non-denominational** 34%
      Baptists 29%
      Mainline Protestants 25%
      Mormons 24%
      Catholics 21%
      Lutherans 21%

      * Note: Divorce rates were still higher in the Bible Belt as of 2009 according to a US Census report."
      (http://www.alternet.org/newsandviews/article/927753/hey_fox,_what_about_this_%22war_on_marriage%22_divorce_rates_are_highest_among_evangelicals)

      May 14, 2013 at 12:14 pm |
    • Observer

      lol??

      Yep. God declared that slaves must marry their master if he wants. God declared that r@pe victims MUST marry their rapist and can NEVER divorce. God declared that men must marry their brother's widow.

      Read the Bible someday. Or have you read it and agree will all those marriage RULES from God?

      May 14, 2013 at 12:17 pm |
    • lol??

      Is it God's fault that you failed to understand His purposes, dawg?? Woof woof

      May 14, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
    • lol??

      OOOooooohhh Tp, you're so bright, a shining star, so to speak. So man can't handle a corrupted version of marriage?? You wouldn't be talkin' jive, would you??

      May 14, 2013 at 12:29 pm |
    • Observer

      lol??

      So do you agree that marriage should be FORCED on people like God wants?

      May 14, 2013 at 12:29 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      lol??: You simply don't get it! You scream about marriage being such a holy thing but yet marriage fails more amongst believers than it does amongst non-believers. Doesn't matter in the end though, marriage has been around in one form or another for numerous centuries before your fairy tale belief system came in to play and it will be around long after your fairy tale belief system has been packed away in the archives. The church does not issue the marriage license and you don't require a church to marry you, nor do you need a christian minister... so the church really has no say on the matter.

      May 14, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
    • lol??

      TP, shine on dudette. Where was the church when God declared His authority over marriage?? You have some canyons in ye ol' noodle. Thoughts seekin' their own level.

      May 14, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
    • lol??

      And then you start talkin' like a prophet will all yer predictions!! WWWwwooooowww TP!

      May 14, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      lol??: God/church, you seldom have on without the other. Prophet?? You mean about the fact that your belief system like that of many others before it will eventually be long forgotten?? Nothing special about that...we've already seen a masive decline in it.

      May 14, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.